Top Tips for Thriving in the Gig Economy More Have you ever dreamt about setting your own hours and working from home? If so, you’re not alone. A growing number of Americans are turning to freelance and short-term contract work, also known as the gig economy, to make their living. In fact, the gig economy now accounts for more than a third of the American workforce — roughly 57 million people. That’s a lot of competition. If you want to hack it as a freelancer, you’ll need to take steps to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips for how to survive — and thrive — in the gig economy. 1. Broaden your horizons When you’re first starting out, you might find that gigs in your specific field are few and far between. Rather than get discouraged, try expanding your search to see if there are other gigs out there you qualify for. Using an online marketplace like Fiverr is a great way to not only sell your work, but also see what services other freelancers in your field are offering — and what they’re typically charging. You may realize that your skill-set applies to a ton of potential gigs that you didn’t even know were an option. 2. Hone your brand One of the best ways to stand out in the gig economy is to develop a solid personal brand. Do your best to post regular updates on social networking platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter that highlight your personal strengths and successes. It’s also crucial to have a portfolio of your work online. Your portfolio should highlight the projects that you’re the proudest of, and showcase both your skills and your versatility. By regularly updating your portfolio and resume to include your most recent gigs, you’ll show potential clients that your services are in high demand. 3. Manage your time well One of the main benefits of freelancing is that you don’t have to go to a physical office every day. That can also be a drawback if your time management skills aren’t…well, great. Make use of the calendar app on your phone or computer, or task manager apps like Todoist, and schedule reminders for all of your due dates, meetings, and phone calls. Another useful time management strategy is to establish a solid routine for your workday. Having a routine will increase your sense of control, enhance your focus, and ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy work-life balance — you’ll know when it’s time to eat, time to take a break and time to set your work aside for the day.